REFERENCES “POLITICALLY OPPORTUNE MOMENT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 19, 2018) — In a letter dated September 19, 2018, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) asked committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for an “unredacted” version of the letter she allegedly received from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on or about July 30, 2018 which has caused the confirmation votes for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be delayed twice.
Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were in high school although at different institutions in the suburban Washington, DC area in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the claim, as has a male classmates who Ford identified as having been present at the time.
Speaking on behalf of his staff and himself, Grassley wrote, “The only version we have of his letter is a redacted version contained in the supplemental FBI background investigation file that only senators and a handful of very select staff are authorized to read.”
Grassley revealed, at the end of a day in which Feinstein tweeted her support for a full law-enforcement investigation into Ford’s claims and Grassley maintains that a committee investigation will suffice, that he is willing to accommodate Ford in any one of a variety of settings, including flying staff investigators to her home in California “or anywhere else.”
On Monday morning, Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, had told CNN that her client was willing to “do whatever it takes” to make her claims public. However, on Tuesday evening, Katz sent Grassley and Feinstein a letter stating that her client was declining to testify to the committee, publicly or privately, until a formal law-enforcement investigation is conducted.
Katz and Ford are reportedly Democrat operatives, although in his tweets and letter on Wednesday, Grassley made no reference to the research reported by a number of bloggers followed by Fox News.
In his letter to find time, Grassley chided the 85-year-old, five-term Senator for failing to inform him of her receipt of the letter as well as failing to question Kavanaugh about it during a private meeting she had with him on August 20. Similarly, committee Democrats did not raise the issue of a sexual-assault allegation during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings between September 4 and September 7.
Committee Democrats, however, appeared staunchly against Kavanaugh’s nomination, with several accusing him of dishonesty as he testified under oath.
Addressing Feinstein’s claim that she had intended to honor Ford’s request for confidentiality, Grassley wrote, “…these allegations could have been raised to me, or to Judge Kavanaugh, while protecting Dr. Ford’s anonymity. Indeed, the only version of her letter that I have is the redacted version from the FBI, which protected Dr. Ford’s anonymity. Had Dr. Ford not made her allegations public by the Washington Post over the weekend, I still would not know her identity. The fact is that these allegations could have been raised both within the last seven weeks and in a way that protected Dr. Ford’s anonymity. Instead, you chose to sit on the allegations into the politically opportune moment. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am in this decision…”
Grassley told Feinstein that he will need the unredacted letter to conduct the hearing he scheduled for Monday, September 24, at which Kavanaugh has committed to testifying.
Kavanaugh provided a sworn statement to the committee on Monday, Grassley said, and news reports have said that he has spent the week thus far preparing for Monday’s formal testimony.
While more than five dozen women who knew Kavanaugh during his high school years signed a letter last Friday praising his temperament and integrity, Congressional Democrats have indicated that they believe Ford’s accusation to have merit. On Tuesday, Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono said at a press conference that the “men of this country” should “shut up and step up for once.”
After news of the letter’s author broke on Sunday at The Washington Post, CNN published what it said was the “redacted” text which was allegedly read over the phone to them by someone who had it in his or her possession.
Kavanaugh has been a judge on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for the last dozen years following his nomination by then-President George W. Bush.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.